Google has decided to temporarily stop showing real-time traffic information in Israel on its apps, Google Maps and Waze.
This decision comes as Israel is getting ready for a potential ground invasion in Gaza.
A spokesperson from Google Maps explained why they made this move, saying, “As we have done previously in conflict situations and in response to the evolving situation in the region, we have temporarily disabled the ability to see live traffic conditions and busyness information out of consideration for the safety of local communities.”
Google talked to various sources, including local and regional authorities, to figure out whether this was necessary.
They did not specify if this change affects Israel, Gaza, or both, and they didn’t confirm if this was at the request of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)
CNN has reached out to the IDF for their comments on this matter.
This isn’t the first time Google has taken such a step.
They did something similar last year when Russia invaded Ukraine. In Ukraine, Google also temporarily turned off real-time vehicle data.
However, Google wants to assure users that even though they won’t see live traffic conditions, they can still get directions and estimated arrival times that consider the current traffic situation when they’re heading to a specific location.
It’s important to note that Google acquired Waze, an Israeli mapping service, in 2013, and in 2022, they merged the teams working on both Google Maps and Waze.